Ancestry Books coming to north Minneapolis this summer

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Photo by Connie Beckers
Chaun Webster and Verna Wong in front of what will be their new bookstore
North Minneapolis is getting a new bookstore care of Chaun Webster, director of Free Poet's Press, and his wife, Verna Wong, a teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. The two have signed a 16-month lease at 2205 Lowry Avenue, between Northland Hardware and Lowry CafĂ© (the space previously housed Goddess of Glass). They hope to be up and running by the time school gets out in June. The duo are currently fundraising for the store, which will be called Ancestry Books, through a Kickstarter campaign that ends March 8.

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Year in Review 2013: Literature

Categories: Books
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This year has been a solid-gold one for the literary scene, bringing in collaborative projects, audience engagement, star-studded showcases, and, of course, fabulous literature to the good old Twin Cities. Let's take a moment to set aside our modest Midwestern tendencies, and proceed to "ooh and ah" about what happened on the local scene in 2013.

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Riverside Plaza complex book seeks stories from past and present residents

Categories: Books
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Minnesota Local History & Historic Preservation
The Riverside Plaza has been a part of Minneapolis's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood since 1972. At the time of its completion, the building, designed by Ralph Rapson, was hailed as a major achievement in urban revitalization. There have been some rough years for the complex since then, as well as good: It recently made the National Register of Historic Places list, and is being rehabbed using federal rehab tax credits.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is working on publishing a book on the history of Riverside Plaza, and is looking for residents both past and present to share their experiences living there.

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President Obama book shops, purchases 3 books by MN authors

Categories: Books
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Politicians: They're just like us. Last Saturday, folks across America took to local boutiques, stores, and pop-up events in support of Small Business Saturday. President Obama was part of that crowd, as well. He and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, took a trip to an independent bookstore to pick up some gifts.

Of the 21 books he purchased at Politics and Prose, a local independent coffeehouse and bookstore, three were by Minnesota writers.

See also:
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and beyond: Shop local this season at these special events



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Goodnight Loon puts Minnesota spin on classic children's book

Categories: Books
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Are you getting tired of reading Goodnight Moon to your kid every night before bed? Two creative types living in Minnesota and Wisconsin have re-imagined the beloved book into a homage to the North Woods region of the Midwest (and Canada). Their indiegogo campaign seeks to raise funds to print the publication while also benefiting a few great causes.
 
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See Reese Witherspoon transform into Cheryl Strayed as shooting begins on movie version of Wild

Categories: Books, Film and TV
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image of Strayed courtesy the author
Strayed about 900 miles and two months into her hike at Crater Lake, Oregon, in August 1995. At right, Wild in hardcover.
Cheryl Strayed, our favorite local girl made good, has had a big week.

See Also:
- Slideshow: Cheryl Strayed: In the wild
- Cheryl Strayed on the rigors of the book tour trail, writing, and reconnecting with characters from "Wild"


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Twin Cities Book Festival takes over the Fairgrounds this weekend

Categories: Books, Festivals
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Photo by Jennifer Simonson Photography
This weekend, the 13th annual Twin Cities Book Festival hits the State Fairgrounds. It's the largest literary event in the upper Midwest, and is your chance to mingle with authors and book lovers alike in a day-long extravaganza of readings, signings, socializing, and more. The family-friendly affair, presented by Rain Taxi, brings is expected to bring in about 7,000 people. 

The festival started in 2000. "We realized that all these other cities had book festivals, which was ironic because this was a book town," says Eric Lorberer, editor of Rain Taxi. Believing that the Twin Cities deserved its own festival, volunteers from local book publishers worked with Rain Taxi to get the first event started. It's been growing ever since.


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Neil Gaiman on Minnesota, Sandman, and why he can't do another signing tour

Categories: Books, Interview

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Tony Nelson
Neil Gaiman before his Minneapolis signing in July. Check out more behind-the-scenes photos.
This year, writer Neil Gaiman has juggled more projects than you can count on two hands. These include releasing a children's book and an adult novel, writing his second Dr. Who episode, and gearing up for a prequel to The Sandman series. We caught up with the author on the Minneapolis stop of his last U.S. signing tour to chat about a little of everything, like what chilly Midwest winters have taught him and how he feels revisiting Sandman.

Here's more from our interview with Gaiman for our cover story: The dark night returns for Neil Gaiman.

See also:
Amanda Palmer on Neil Gaiman: He desperately loves to be surprised


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The most hilarious and thought-provoking parts of Chris Kluwe's new book

Categories: Books

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If you're familiar with Chris Kluwe's opinionated, profanity-strewn internet pieces, you've already got a pretty good idea what his book is like. Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is a glorious mishmash of essays, letters, articles, and thoughts collected by the outspoken punter. However, it's not all cockmonsters and sparkleponies here.

See also:
Game Changer: Chris Kluwe takes a stand [Cover Story]
Best Unlikely Activist - Chris Kluwe

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A nostalgic return for Neil Gaiman with The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Categories: Books

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Ineffable is a word that Neil Gaiman knows well. Avid fans will remember that in Good Omens, the master storyteller's collaboration with Terry Pratchett, the term was used to the point of hilarious excess. Twenty-three years after the publication of that novel -- Gaiman's first -- he's made a living out of creating transcendental universes for new fans and seasoned Gaiman-lovers alike. His newest world might be the most ineffable yet.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a homecoming of sorts for the writer, both in the book and Gaiman's own life. This latest venture marks his return to adult novels after penning the woefully underrated Anansi Boys in 2005.

See also:
Neil Gaiman's last book tour comes to Minnesota this summer
Enter Sandman: Why Neil Gaiman is about to become bigger than death

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